San Francisco’s Scalped are yet another in the long line of stellar Hardcore bands the west coast has been spitting out as of late. Their debut seven inch from last year was a blistering assault that somehow meshed the crush of late 80’s New York Hardcore with the hair-raising screech of some of Sweden’s finest exports such as Anti-Cimex and Mob 47.
Their second seven inch – released this week on Video Disease Records – delves deeper into this peculiar merger arriving in a realm so dark, it’s shocking they even had the heuvos to even attempt such a stunt. Check out the full stream of the four song bastard below and see if you agree.
We recently caught up with Scalped drummer Jeremy and chatted about the internet, the renaissance going on the California Hardcore scene at the moment and the concept of Spin Kick Metal.
Noisey: I’ve seen Scalped referred to as “Spin Kick Metal”. What the hell is that?
Jeremy Smh (drums): The term Spin Kick Metal was more of a joke when it comes to the band. Our former second guitarist Tony Molina just randomly started referring to the band as that. After that we started getting a few people coming out to the gigs and dropping spin kicks. It’s pretty entertaining and fun to have people feeling the music enough to get down like that.
So is it in reference to 90’s hardcore when everybody was doing those karate moves in the pit?
I’m pretty sure that is a spot on reference but like I said, it was meant more as a joke and is in no way the bands’ identity. We appreciate people who can cut loose and enjoy themselves at a gig; spin kicks or no spin kicks.
Gotcha. So, it seems the past year or so has been a real fertile time for the Hardcore scene. It seems to be going through a real renaissance, especially over California. Would you agree?
I would say for sure Hardcore today is in a renaissance. California Hardcore is really picking up and we are seeing some real top notch bands coming from Southern California, the Valley, and the Bay. I think people using the internet more and more to check out new bands and discover classics that maybe they never heard before is the reason for fresh new faces digging in and cranking out jams. D.C and Boston have been dishing out so much good shit as well as California. A down side to this would be there’s so many new bands popping up people might over look some really good stuff. It’s hard to keep track of all the good bands playing and dropping records. Hardcore is what you make it. People want to leave an impression and thanks to the internet it’s much easier for artists to be heard.
Do you think the internet can sometimes be a hindrance some times since it’s so jam packed with information? It seems bands can come and go out of flavor in the blink of an eye more so now than prior to its existence.
I’ve noticed bands having good buzz on them and the next day nobody cares, so it’s on to the next band. That’s definitely the downside to having this endless feed of information and new music. Its makes the experience of playing music seem slightly less sincere. I’m not exactly an old guy, but I've been playing in bands since I was 12 years old. For the first decade or so, the internet really played no part in punk OR hardcore. Not many people had it and the resources were very limited. Sitting here today and trying to keep up with the world and trying to keep people interested in your music is exhausting. For the most part it seems like the bands that keep the buzz just happen to have the right people talking about them.
Do you think Scalped can break this cycle?
Honestly I don't think any band could break this. The internet is the strongest tool we have and its right at our fingertips. The only way to change the direction of the hype machine would be to take it away all together and that won't happen. The good thing is that not everyone is a drooling idiot with their eyes glued to the computer screen, plenty of people are capable of forming their own opinions and actually liking music because they think it’s good; not because someone told them its good.
Let's get off the cyber talk. Where do you see Scalped in the pantheon of all the other bands you are in? How do you think it differs both sonically and aesthetically from Busted Outlook or Condition?
This has been a thought on all of our minds before. As I see it, Scalped really does not fall into a single category. If someone asks on the street I say it’s a Hardcore band but really I feel it’s more than just Hardcore. We draw influence from not only classic American Hardcore groups but also Japanese Hardcore bands like Lip Cream and Guaze. More recently, we have been developing our sound and we are getting more elements inspired by Florida Death Metal bands. The other bands I personally play in can fall into a specific genre much easier. Condition grabs most of our inspiration from Swedish and Japanese hardcore while Busted Outlook focuses more on late 80's New York and Boston sounds. Scalped for me is much harder to try and define…and I like that.
Scalped’s new seven inch is available from Video Disease Records.
Scalped will be going on tour with Battalion Of Saints in January 2016
1/9/15: - Bakersfield, CA at Babylon
1/12/15 - Seattle, WA at Highline
1/13/15 - Portland, OR at Ash St.
1/14/15 - Sacramento, CA at Press Club